Today I decided to compare to Zhenghe teas Tao Tea Leaf’s Zhenghe gongfu, Jin Ping village http://www.taotealeaf.com/zhenghe-gongfu-black-tea-jin-ping-village/ and Titan teas Zhenghe Gongfu. http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Fujian-Zhenghe-Gongfu-Black-Tea-herbal-tea-health-tea-Chinese-100g-bagged-tea/1359449_1980624893.html
I decided to use western brewing for this comparison starting with the following parameters:
2g/2 min/95°C/150ml water
Dry leaf. Long folded and lightly twisted and curled dark brown leaves with dome copper brown tips. The tea smells of carob with grain notes.
Brewed colour.clear deeper copper brew.
Scent. Hot Chocolate, cinnamon, stone fruit, hint of yam.
Taste. Hot chocolate, roasted grain/leaf note, caramel, hint of a mineral note, cinnamon, hint of yam and cherry.
3min. hints of molasses chocolate, fruit, cinnamon
Smooth, cream, chocolate, roasted notes, caramel, cinnamon, plum. Very sweet aftertaste.
4min. Cocoa, hints of citrus notes, spice
Grain, cocoa, molasses, spice, faintly peppery, cream, plum.
5.3 min. Cocoa, grain, hints of citrus, peppery notes, caramel, hints of plum.
Tao Tea Leaf
Dry leaf shorter, smaller and thinner than the titan tea slightly more wound but still loosely wound leaves with some copper, gold tips.
Scent, fall leaves, grain, and cocoa notes.
Brewed Colour. copper
Scent. Longan, plum, honey, grainy notes, hints of cocoa.
Taste, longan, floral, spicy, grainy note with cinnamon and ppepper, honey, cream and a hint of cocoa, slight astringency and cooling in the mouth, hints of cherry and stone fruit with the cocoa.
3min longan, grain, honey, hints of cocoa
Honey, grain,longan, cocoa, hints of cream, plum and a peppery floral spice, tingly on the tongue. Aftertaste of longan, cocoa,cream and honey.
4 min grain, hints of longan, cocoa, pepper, hints of plum.
5.30 min. Grain, longan, honey, cocoa, pepper, cinnamon, cherry, hints of nuts.
First steep picture http://instagram.com/p/tYNfikGK7h/
Flavour wise these are quite different teas. Tao’s tea is bright and llively, peppery, and complex, with more grain notes, less chocolate, and nutty, floral notes. Whereas Titans tea has a lot of Chocolate. They are both quite resilient, still yielding a lot of flavour after 4 western steeps. I enjoy both teas and am glad to have them in my cupboard.